New mural at Miller Nichols Library pays tribute to richer learning
A new wall of fame, a colorful focal point at the Miller Nichols Library, celebrates undergraduate research and honors its champions.
The 27-foot-long, 9-foot-tall wall mural shows photos of University of Missouri-Kansas City undergraduate researchers and their faculty mentors in action in modular sections accented with acrylic panels.
“Undergraduate research is about students getting to do real academic, artistic, scientific work, to ask real questions that need answers — not just absorb information in a classroom,” said Jane Greer, director of Undergraduate Research at UMKC. Greer led the wall project, designed by the Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications. “And undergraduates can’t undertake that kind of authentic inquiry unless they have role models and mentors showing them the way, opening up the processes and connecting them to resources.”
Faculty who are recognized with UMKC’s new Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers, Scholars and Artists will be featured on the wall. The award will recognize faculty – up to three each year — for their commitment and energy as mentors. Nominations are due March 1; and awardees will be named at the Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship April 21. They also will receive a $1,000 honorarium. For more details, contact Greer.
The new wall mural also features the new James B. Murowchick Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Research, named for its inaugural recipient.
Murowchick of the Department of Geosciences was instrumental in founding UMKC’s SEARCH program (Students Engaged in Academic and Artistic Research). For 15 years, Murowchick served as director of SEARCH, organizing workshops and providing individual consultations to students who sought to apply for grants; managing the review process for SEARCH grants; coaching faculty in best practices as mentors to undergraduate researchers; chaperoning undergraduate researchers who were selected to represent UMKC in front of legislators and other stakeholders in Jefferson City on Undergraduate Research Day at the Capital; and organizing an annual campus-wide symposium for undergraduate researchers.
Not to be awarded every year, the James B. Murowchick Award will be reserved for individuals or groups from the campus or community whose contributions to UMKC’s Undergraduate Research Program are truly transformative. These honorees will also be recognized on the new wall mural.